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Recovery console at boot

Posted August 2002 by Steve Sinchak

The recovery console is a very useful application for getting to your data without having to boot XP. If a registry error due to hard disk corruption prevents you from booting XP even in Safe Mode, then it may be the only way.

The recovery console is accessible from the XP CD if you boot from disc. If your CD is damaged, however, you may have no way of booting your system without reformatting the hard drive. This means data loss. Data loss tends to create distress esp. if you have no backups.

Here is a way to make the recovery console an option in the Windows XP "OS Choices" menu. Do this before an inevitable registry corruption.

  1. Insert your Windows XP CD.
  2. Run {CD-ROM drive letter}:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons
  3. A dialog comes up saying it takes 10mb, etc., etc. - Click yes to install.

If you don't normally see the OS choices menu at boot, go into system properties (winkey+pause), click the advanced tab, and xlixk Startup and Recovery. Check Time to Display List of OSs if it is unchecked, and then set the timeout value to a decent number of seconds.

Apply the settings, reboot, and you should see two boot options.

Here are some KB articles on how to use the recovery console and how to recover from a corrupted registry.;en-us;Q314874;en-us;Q307545;en-us;Q307654

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